The HSE – Denying the Fundamental Human Right to Health… But only for the Natives

The HSE – Denying the Fundamental Human Right to Health… But only for the Natives

By Marie Porter – Sov Indo

Barely a day or so after waiting lists in the Irish health service topped the 600,000 barrier it must be infuriating for patients on the slow road to further misery, as opposed to recovery, to discover that regardless of the ineptitude and incompetence of management, that those who fail in their duties to patients will not lose their jobs. They will simply be reassigned to other duties, where presumably their ineptitude and incompetence won’t be so obviously apparent. Same salary, easier job, less responsibility…. Isn’t that in fact a reward for failure?

In what other career would you get such an easy ride for failure? Oh yes… Politics…

Just yesterday it was announced that waiting lists, across a number of areas, had risen to 632,185, a new all- time record, with no signs of this figure being reduced anytime soon. It will make no difference if incompetent managers are reassigned or not.

But we need ‘experts’ to tell us how the waiting lists got so bad.

New promises to patients stating that they will ‘only’ have to wait 15 months is of little consolation and meaningless. I’ve no doubt that figures will be manipulated in some dubious manner by clever, highly paid statisticians to mask the real extent of the problem, if that isn’t being done already.

What’s more is that someone within the health service will have to be either promoted to the post or recruited from an outside the agency for that position.

Does this mean that there will now be two fat cat manager’s salaries being paid for the same job? That would appear to be the case. And what about those staff who are at the same level as the newly demoted manager? Won’t they be entitled to complain that they’re not being paid the same as the failed, overpaid ex-manager?

The ‘jobs for the boys’ mentality is clearly the norm.

The HSE appears to run like a very disjointed waste management company with a callous disregard for managing waste, particularly when it doesn’t cost them a cent. It’s not their money after all. It’s simply the bottomless pit of the taxpayer where waste is an everyday occurrence in every department of government.

No other industry or small business would survive beyond its first year with this level of gross negligence and incompetency we see in government. Not a single one.

On the HSE website in the ‘About’ section you can read the agency’s ‘Mission & Goals’.

The wording of this is interesting when compared to the goals of Irish Aid, the major branch of the Irish government’s overseas aid program, which is run by the Dept. of Foreign Affairs; but more about that later.

It covers the Vision, Mission, Values and Our Plan. The HSE has failed in its entirety to fulfil any of these promises. Who will be held responsible for that; the Director General of the HSE Tony O’Brien or the Minister for Health Simon Harris?

The answer is that neither will accept responsibility for the shambles they preside over. They never have and never will.

Waste is unacceptable in any business and as mentioned will result in failure. Waste in the national health services is fatal to many patients who will inevitably die on waiting lists created by consecutive failures in government over decades. For current politicians to blame previous politicians is farcical and irrelevant when all parties have been in power over the time period in question.

Infrastructure is essential in any health system to facilitate easy access to services across a wide range of general and specialist disciplines. This not only includes the actual physical structure but also internal mechanisms to ensure that facilities are capable of meeting the demands of any service.

Take the latest debacle of the Children’s Hospital.

Planning incompetence has already cost a minimum of €40M which has already been written off.

The cost of the project has doubled since its initial €500M price tag. Apparently building inflation is largely responsible for the new price tag of €1,000,000,000, yes ONE BILLION EURO, without fixtures and fittings!

Inflation? Really? Isn’t this just theft from the people by greedy developers? I think we’ve been here before.

A rough guide for hospital building costs is set out below. Our nearest comparison would be the UK where a new hospital was built for approximately €106M including outlying roads, fixtures and fittings, equipment and infrastructure.

How can the new Children’s Hospital cost 10 times as much? Who gains?

But apparently it may not matter too much in the near future and the promise of a new hospital may simply disappear along with all that wasted money,

And what about the extortionate cost of agency staff? How can a government department spend in excess of €340M euros on staff it does not employ but simply calls upon when necessary to fill posts that should already be filled with full time staff. How many nurses does €343M a year pay for?

Taking the highest rate for a general nurse at €43,800, €343M could employ over 7800 full time experienced nurses per year! How much money are Nurse On Call raking in on top of nurse’s wages? And why does only one agency have exclusive rights to the HSE?

“Nurse on Call is pleased to announce that from 14th March 2011 we are the sole supplier of nurses to all HSE hospitals/worksites and HSE-funded hospitals for all HSE regions with the exception of HSE West.
Nurse on Call are also the sole supplier of nurses for all new HSE Homecare in these regions. (see regions below)
Nurse on Call are also the largest supplier of Nurses and Carers to the Private Hospitals/Dublin Academic Training Hospitals (Vincents Unversity Hospital, St James Hospital, Mater Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, Beaumont Hospital & Connolly Hospital) and Nursing Homes. Major Private Hospitals include Blackrock Clinic, Beacon Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital (Dublin, Cork & Kerry) Hermitage Hospital, Mater Private Hospital, St Vincents Private Hospital and many others.”

But it’s not just nurses this company supplies… It’s all staff.

Again the question must be asked as to how one recruitment agency gets exclusive rights to such a money pit of taxpayers’ money when surely competition would drastically cut prices to the HSE?

Maybe someone needs to write to the Minister of Health and ask him or find out who Catherine Arnold Kennedy, the owner of these companies, has as friends in government.

Something stinks here!

Throwing money at an exclusive nursing recruitment agency can never be viewed as an economically viable way of saving money especially when that amounts to full time employment for 7800 highly experienced nursing staff. How can this be justified?

This was the funding plan for 2016 when another €817M was thrown into the bottomless pit and yet nothing changed except the length of the waiting lists and nobody was held responsible.

Perhaps the HSE needs to employ managers from Dunnes stores?

None of this waste seems to bother anyone at management level or in government whilst patients wait and die on hospital trolleys or waiting lists but pay rises are still handed out like free candy at Halloween.

Just another €700M down the drain…. There goes the increase in funding almost in its entirety. And I’m sure other pay rises and bonuses for failure will take care of the rest.

In the latest attack on patients it’s now been reported that seriously ill children awaiting liver and heart transplants will be left to die because there are no staff to man helicopters used to transport patients to the UK when a suitable donor is found. The service is apparently ‘unsustainable’; in other words children will be left to suffer because some fat cat manager needs another pay rise or a bonus to furnish their lavish lifestyles.

When the HSE won’t even secure the lives of children it says little for the morality of the HSE hierarchy or their incompetent government lackeys. But why should that come as a surprise to anyone?

I mentioned earlier the ‘Mission and Goals’ section on the HSE website and its comparison with the goals of Irish Aid, run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The wording is interesting….

Links to the health workforce crisis

Good health is a fundamental human right. (My emphasis) Health is one of the key sectors supported by Irish Aid, with 20% of country program expenditure. The principal instrument used by Ireland to support development is the sector wide approach. It works to strengthen government capacity to direct and manage the reform process.

Strengthening national health systems

A well-functioning national health system is critical if we are to achieve better health outcomes for everyone. (My emphasis) Our priority is strengthening health systems so that everyone – including poor men, women and children – has access to safe, effective treatment, delivered by a sufficient number of qualified staff, using the right medicines.

Irish Aid receives €486M this year, part of the €651M total budget for foreign aid, with 20% of that being spent on health services in Africa and other areas.

That’s €97.2M for health services abroad which Irish Aid views as a fundamental human right.

Why is it not a fundamental human right for Irish people in their own country?

Why is that fact never mentioned on the HSE website?

And where’s the accountability for those vast sums of money? It seems there is none with the UK pulling back on aid due to the endemic corruption inherent in the system.

“They warned it was “particularly challenging” to detect fraud in more than half of the DfID spending because the cash was routed through other international organisations, such as the United Nations or the World Bank.
It is well known that millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being wasted and lost to fraud through foreign aid
The level of money being sent abroad to some of the most corrupt countries in the world has already been questioned by senior Tories”

Corruption and waste seem to be the norm both in Ireland and further afield but it’s good to know that even in adversity the government still has a sense of humour…

As with much of the HSE those column inches are just a waste of paper….


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